Former undisputed middleweight champion “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler died on Saturday at the age of 66, according to his wife Kay G. Hagler.
“I am sorry to make a very sad announcement,” his wife posted on Facebook. “Today unfortunately my beloved husband Marvelous Marvin passed away unexpectedly at his home here in New Hampshire. Our family requests that you respect our privacy during this difficult time. With love.”
Hagler became the undisputed middleweight champion in 1980. He famously defended his title against Tommy Hearns in 1985 in a brutal three round fight billed as “The War.”
After 12 successful title defenses, the boxing icon’s career and reign as champion ended in 1987 in a controversial 12-round split-decision loss to “Sugar” Ray Leonard. He announced his official retirement the following year and moved to Italy, where he became an actor in action films.
During his professional boxing career, Hagler notched 62 wins, 3 losses and 2 draws, with 52 wins by knockout. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993.
Many in the boxing community mourned the loss of Hagler, paying respects to the man who dominated the middleweight division for nearly a decade.
Former boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya said, “Saddened to hear about the death of Marvelous Marvin Hagler. One of the greatest to ever step in the ring!”
Boxing promoter Bob Arum said of Hagler, “He was a man of honor and a man of his word, and he performed in the ring with unparalleled determination. He was a true athlete and a true man. I will miss him greatly.”